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Paper boats commemorating migrant victims outside the European Parliament

Migrant deaths

News item

Tuesday 21 Apr 2015

This photograph shows an installation in the plaza in front of European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, symbolising Sunday’s tragedy in the Mediterranean.  As many as 1,800 migrants will have died so far trying to cross the Mediterranean since the start of this year. Estimates say around 21,000 have made the voyage successfully. People fleeing from war, devastation and terror in their countries in Africa and the Middle East.’ Nessa Childers MEP.

Lampedusa tragedy:  joint action, implemented by all European home affairs and foreign ministers, is needed to put an end to this bloodbath

The following statement was issued on Sunday 19 April, by the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella, who stated:

“The deafening silence of so many member states is an embarrassment for Europe, and is no longer acceptable. Following the latest news coming from Lampedusa, where hundreds of people are feared dead after their boat capsized off the Sicilian coast, European governments must put their selfishness aside. The hypocrisy must stop: the responsibility for this tragedy does not lie with the European Union but with individual European governments; and some more than others.

“Therefore, we call for an immediate extraordinary European Council summit to establish once and for all a European ‘Mare Nostrum’ operation. There is no alternative. Moreover, a joint action, implemented by all European home affairs and foreign ministers, is needed to put an end to this bloodbath, firstly by breaking down the criminal networks of traffickers and smugglers, and secondly by supporting a credible resettlement program and strengthening cooperation with third countries along the main migratory routes. Triton is tragically incapable of avoiding new tragedies in the Mediterranean.

“We knew it. We said it. EU governments must react. Now!”

ENDS

Migrant deaths